Aaron Shepley, Mayor - Crystal Lake, Ill., (center), receives a Train Town sign from (L to R) Matt Harvard, special agent; Ray Franks, manager-terminal operations; Adrian Guerrero, UP director-Public Affairs, and Joel Kirchner, manager-operating practices.
The Fox River Valley Railroad, building north from Elgin along the Fox River to connect with other rail lines at the Wisconsin border, arrived at Nunda in 1855, bypassing Crystal Lake as well. A branch was built in 1856 from Nunda to Crystal Lake so that ice, cut from the pristine Crystal Lake, could be shipped to Chicago. The towns grew closer together and eventually merged in 1911, keeping the name Crystal Lake. The two rail lines came under ownership of the Chicago & North Western and Crystal Lake remained a hub of rail activity.
Union Pacific merged with the C&NW in 1995.